Jewish Broadway Star Ben Platt Wins Best Actor in a Musical at Tony Awards
Jewish Broadway star Ben Platt, who plays the title character in “Dear Evan Hansen,” won the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical at the Tony Awards ceremony in New York City on Sunday.
In his emotional acceptance speech, the 23-year-old Platt thanked the Broadway musical community for the impact it has had on his life, and his parents, whom he described as “my heroes, the greatest people I’ve ever met.”
Platt added, “Everybody always says that about they’re parents but it’s true. I will fight you. They are the best people in the entire world. Dad, you’re my hero. You taught me that you have to be a decent human being to be a decent artist, and I love you for it.”
The Los Angeles native also offered some advice to young viewers. He said, “Don’t waste any time trying to be like anybody but yourself because the things that make you strange are the things that make you powerful.”
The honor was Platt’s first Tony award and, earlier in the night, Platt performed the “Dear Evan Hansen” tune “Waving Through a Window.” The Broadway musical, which is about teenage depression, earned a total of nine Tony nominations. Jewish composer Benj Pasek and his songwriting partner Justin Paul won the Best Original Score award for their work on the show.
Other Jewish Tony winners on Sunday included Bette Midler — who took home the award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her role in “Hello, Dolly!” — and Rebecca Taichman — the winner of the Best Director prize for her work on “Indecent.” Michael Aronov won the Best Featured Actor in a Play award for his role in “Oslo,” which focuses on the negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization that took place in the Norwegian capital ahead of the 1993 signing of an interim peace accord.